Caraga youth leaders express concern over Lumads' plight
Butuan City (February 5) -- Some 300 youth leaders from various colleges and universities in the Caraga region on Thursday issued a statement on their ?deep concern? over the plight of Lumads (natives) who are now in their fifth day of picket rally at the regional office of the National Communities and Indigenous People (NCIP) here.
In their statement personally handed over to the Philippine News Agency, the Caraga Youth Leaders Network (CYLN) calls on the national government for prompt and immediate resolution of the Lumads' problem.
The CYLN, a region-wide alliance of youth leaders in various colleges and universities and various youth sectors in the Caraga region, which is also affiliated and accredited with the United Nations Youth Association of the Philippines calls for a united approach of all concerned government agencies, especially the NCIP to resolve the conflict.
In their statement also distributed to other news agencies in the Caraga region, the CYLN also calls for a thorough implementation of Republic Act 8371 or the 1997 Indigenous People's Rights Act.
The CYLN, led by its president Rex F. Ybanez, also hopes for an honest and peaceful conference between the top NCIP officials and Manobo, Mamanwa and Higaonon tribal chieftains, sectoral datus and elders.
?Their (natives) problem must be resolved in a peaceful means to stop their long agony,? said Ybanez in an exclusive interview with the PNA.
He noted that the CYLN statement was already forwarded to John Philipp Morgadez, regional coordinator of the United Nations Youth of the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Manobo tribal chieftain Hawudon Udyutan Daging of Caraga Indigenous People's Conference on Thursday said their protest action would ?not stop? until their demands were met.
The Manobo, Mamanwa and Higaonon tribes from far-flung villages in Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Norte, along with women and children are now on their fourth day of rally at the premises of NCIP regional office to press the ouster of NCIP Regional Director Jose Dumagan for alleged inaction on their problem.
The protesting natives demanded a thorough implementation of the IPRA Law, giving of their one percent royalty share of their ancestral lands allegedly being used by some mining and logging companies since year 2005 and proper accounting and liquidation of their royalty share.
However, in an earlier interview with Dumagan, he said the demands of the indigenous people have already been acted upon by the NCIP Caraga. The region's NCIP head even assured the natives of resolving their concern on the one percent royalty share and other problems. (muc/PIA-Caraga) [top]